2017 is well underway and there have been some great new beauty releases already! Today I have one of my regular little round-ups of what's new and my reviews of both affordable and premium products.
Soap & Glory The Mighty Contourer 3 in 1 Contour, Blush & Highlight Kit* | £9 | I have to start with a bit of a negative, because this wasn't for me AT ALL! I have the shade Happy Medium (though there only appear to be 2 in total, so that seems a bit of a misnomer) and it just isn't right for me. I find the pink blusher a bit sickly sweet and I wouldn't use a matte highlighter like this. The contour shade isn't right on my skin tone either, though I can appreciate that it's a nice cool tone to give definition instead of looking orange. All 3 shades are cream in formula and I just found they had a bit of a greasy texture that goes patchy very quickly. This is a pass for me, which is unusual because Soap & Glory rarely disappoint me.
Max Factor Lasting Performance Foundation* | £9.99 | This newly-reformulated foundation didn't work for me. I struggle a lot with Max Factor when it comes to shades because all of their foundations have a neutral or cool undertone, whereas I'm very warm. This was both too light and gave that awful mask-like appearance you get when you use a product that has the wrong undertones. I actually don't think the formula is bad, though; it has a medium-full coverage in what I'd describe as a satin finish (not completely matte but not at all dewy). I couldn't wear it out of the house but I did give it a go and it lasted pretty well on my skin without going greasy or breaking down. If you can usually find a match with Max Factor, then give it a go, however the shade range lets this one down.
Max Factor Velvet Matte Lipsticks in Nude & Rose* | £7.99 each | I fared much better with these new lipstick releases from Max Factor. The formula of them is very creamy and comfortable - they aren't the most opaque mattes I've ever tried but I do think they have a nice level of pigmentation for everyday wear. I don't find them *quite* as long-lasting as a more drying matte finish, but having to touch up after lunch is a small price to pay for something that's comfortable to wear. The colour range isn't the most breathtaking to me but hopefully they'll keep adding to the shade range. I have a pinky-brown (Nude) and a vibrant pink shade (Rose).
ColourPop Custom Palette with Pressed Eyeshadows in Let Me Explain, You Know the Drill, Note to Self & Top Notch | $5 each | Looking at my custom palette; it looks a lot like my Zoeva Cocoa Blend. Whoops! Anyway, ColourPop have finally launched a collection of powder eyeshadows that you can customise yourself or buy a pre-made selection from. When you buy 4 shadows, you get a free empty magnetic palette, which is cardboard with a magnetic closure but feels sturdy. There are around 30 shades out at the moment but knowing ColourPop, I'm sure that will snowball quickly! So, what of the quality? I have to say I'm impressed with the formula; they aren't super-buttery but I do love how easy they are to apply and the great colour payoff. They don't crease, though I do feel they look quite a bit less vibrant on the lids by the end of the day, which is my only negative.
Let Me Explain is a very light gold that's perfect for highlighting the inner corner of the eye. You Know the Drill is a gorgeous warm gold shimmer that I like to wear across the lid. Both the shimmers I have in this palette have a more subtle sheen, it's worth noting. Note to Self is a very warm caramel-brown matte that I love to use in the crease. Finally, Top Notch is a darker, more red-based brown matte that you can use on the outer part of the lid and crease to add some extra depth.
ColourPop Hi-Maintenance Eyeshadow Palette | $18 | This is one of the two pre-made palettes (you save $2 by doing it this way) and the eyeshadows are of the same quality as the singles and even pop out, so you can mix and match them with the rest of your collection. This is a bit of a different collection of colours for me, but I love it! The palette is very cranberry-toned; Just in Time is a deeper, warmer gold highlighting shade when compared with Let Me Explain from my custom palette. High Strung is a rose shade that's got a more dewy, metallic finish to it than the other shimmers I have. Get Out is a pinkish berry-toned matte and Cute Alert is a deep plum matte.
ColourPop Matte Lippie Stick in Mosh Pit | $5 | I love the ColourPop Matte Lippie Stix formula; it's definitely creamy in texture and has a very slight sheen so isn't a true matte finish but is very comfortable and still long-wearing. Mosh Pit is a grungy 90s brown nude shade.
ColourPop Matte X Lippie Stix in Goal Digger & Sauce | $5 each | The Matte X formula has no sheen at all but is very opaque, long-lasting and still not at all drying on the lips. These two shades are part of a new launch; ColourPop took some of their bestselling Ultra Matte liquid lipsticks and released them as liners and as Matte X Lippie Stix. Goal Digger is a warm berry-rose colour, whereas Sauce is a dusky rose mauve shade.
Herbal Daily Detox Shampoos and Conditioners: White Tea & Mint (Shine), Crimson Orange & Mint (Volume) & Golden Raspberry & Mint (Clean)* | £3 each | Herbal Essences recently launched a new Daily Detox collection of shampoos and conditioners. The collection is designed to cleanse the hair and protect it from environmental damage and there are 3 varieties: Shine, Volume and Clean, which all include mint oil. What I love about all of the products is that they're very gentle and won't strip your hair. I personally don't wash my hair every day, however if you do then I'd definitely recommend these products because they leave my hair clean but still soft and healthy.
They each have a soft scent but do still have that classic Herbal Essences undertone (anyone else who grew up with this brand will know what I mean!) They are very similar in that the shampoos are all gentle and the conditioners all lightweight. I personally didn't find the Clean duo did anything extra-cleansing for my hair, so I'd peg that as my least-favourite. The Shine duo, on the other hand does it all, but my hair is also left noticeably more shiny and silky after use. I also did find that the Volume products helped give my hair a bit of natural boost and lift. Overall, I really rate this collection and the Shine shampoo and conditioner are my top picks.
Batiste 2 in 1 Dry Shampoo & Conditioner in Orange and Pomegranate | £4.49 | I have something of a love/hate relationship with dry shampoo so have been trying to use it minimally these past few months. However I was still intrigued by this new release. It smells lovely and fruity and virtually traceless in the hair (so there's no unpleasant white cast). Used sparingly, it doesn't leave a residue or cause my any scalp irritation. Instead it refreshes my hair, absorbing any greasiness and adding some volume.
Zoeva 117 Petit Defined Buffer Brush* | £12.50 | I'm a big fan of the Defined Buffer brush for foundation and this is a smaller version. It's very dense, so I'd recommend it for complete, full-coverage foundations when you want that airbrushed, flawless finish. I also want to give this a go for cream contouring because it is a smaller size - I'll let you know how that goes!
Zoeva 113 Fluid Arc Brush* | £14.50 | This is a really interesting brush; it has synthetic bristles and is angled to fit perfectly into your cheekbones. Though you can use this for powder products, I think it's perfect for naturally blending out a cream contour for amazing definition.
Zoeva 135 Petit Face Definer Brush* | £12.50 | This is one of those multipurpose brushes I never know what to do with! I wouldn't necessarily use it for blusher because the bristles are slightly stiff for that, however you can bronze and contour with this for a soft, natural look. You can also use this to set the face with powder; the tapered tip means it fits perfectly under the eyes.
Zoeva 137 Petit Fan Brush* | £8.50 | I've never tried a synthetic fan brush, however I'm a big fan of the original version from Zoeva. I'm not really sure why a mini version would be necessarily if you already have the full-sized version of this, however it is handy for areas such as the brow bone and the cupids bow when you want a bit more precision. However, I don't find it gives as much of a natural look as the original when used to highlight the cheekbones.
Zoeva 331 Precision Lip Brush* | £7.50 | I personally don't really use lip brushes so I feel I can't comment much on this. The slightly square tip does make it very precise and the synthetic bristles are easy to clean, however I don't see myself using this brush on a day-to-day basis.
Zoeva Graphic Brows in Ammos, Cinerous, Arsenic and Bistre* | £7.50 each | I'm already a huge fan of this Anastasia Brow Wiz dupe! I use the shade Arsenic, the second-darkest to match my very dark brown hair. These have a nice ashy tone to them, so you don't have to worry about your brows looking red-tinged or unnatural. The formula is a little more pigmented than some of these kinds of thin twist-up brow pencils I've tried, so creates a slightly stronger look. However the spooly means you still get a natural, everyday look. This doesn't smudge or smear throughout the day and overall I really rate the formula and the shade selection.
Zoeva Graphic Brow Fix in Ammos, Arsenic & Bistre* | £8.50 each | As part of their epic brow launch, Zoeva have also released 3 tinted brow gels and I've been using the shade Bistre every single day since it arrived! As you'd expect, there's a shade for fair hair, one for medium hair and one for darker hair - they all have a cool tone, which I personally find creates a very natural look. It has a fairly watery consistency in comparison to something like Benefit Gimme Brow, so it isn't going to make your brows look a lot thicker, however it does have the hold (without leaving my brows all stiff) and a nice level of tint. Overall I think this is a great everyday option to set your brows with.
Zoeva Brow Spectrum Palette* | £19.50 | This is a collection of brow powders which I actually think is a great idea, as I often find myself mixing products to get the perfect shade for my brows. There are two shades in here that I don't think I'd ever use, but otherwise, these are all great! You get everything from fair colours in warm and cool tones through to black. There are also three highlighting shades: one matte and two shimmer (one warmer and one cooler). I really like the formula of these too because they're very soft, natural and easy to work with.
Zoeva Brow Light in Margarethe* | £7.50 | This is a brow highlighting crayon with a cream formula. Personally, I don't tend to use these sorts of products; I just apply my face highlighter to the brow bone, however if you want a frosty shade to use specifically under your brows then you should check this out. It has a subtle sheen and the formula blends out nicely.
Zoeva Graphic Lash Mascara* | £8.50 | This mascara was a pleasant surprise for me; I don't usually like a fibre wand, however this is a really great all-rounder. It gives me volume without the clump and a decent amount of lift, curl and length. It also didn't flake on me or smudge.
Zoeva Matte Eyeshadow Palette* | £17.50 | Time and time again I've raved about the matte shades in the Zoeva palettes and they've finally brought out an all-matte palette! The shades in here are pretty much everything I could possibly need. Although there's nothing too crazy in here, I think it's the perfect mix of neutrals and bolder shades. I love how creamy and pigmented these are whilst also being long-wearing. I will definitely give you an update on this one but the early signs are very positive.
Anastasia Quad with Eyeshadow Singles in Penny Metal, Wine, Sienna and Rich Velvet |£10 each | Ok, these aren't new but they *are* new to the UK! I'm so happy about this because I picked up some of these in New York and was blown away by the pigmented, easy-to-work-with and long-lasting formula. With the affordable price and ready availability in the UK, I can definitely see myself adding even more of these to my collection... There was actually an offer on, where if you bought 4 eyeshadows, one came free, they threw in a free quad and there was free shipping, which is what tipped me over!
I selected Wine (a very warm gold tone with orange undertones with a metallic shimmer), Penny Metal (a light warm gold shimmer), Sienna (a warm orange-brown mid-toned matte) and Rich Velvet (a deep plum containing micro-glitter). I absolutely love the shades I have, though I didn't really choose them based on what would look good together because they'll be going in my big Make Up For Ever custom palette. I can see myself using Sienna especially soooo much!
Too Faced Sweet Peach Eyeshadow Palette | £39 | These two are actually getting their own post so today will just be a quick first impressions! I really wasn't sure how much I'd use the shades in this palette, in all honesty (which is why I missed it when it was originally released); there are some lovely warm tones but one or two colours are pretty out-there for me. However I was proven wrong because I use this so much! Too Faced has to have one of my favourite eyeshadow formulas of all time; there's only one shade that disappointed me in terms of pigmentation (the navy matte Talk Derby to Me). So far my go-to everyday look has been the peachy-champagne shimmer Luscious to highlight, the brown-bronze shimmer Cobbler across the lid, the warm matte brown Summer Yum in the crease and finally the deep purple-brown shimmer Peach Pit on the outer corner.
Too Faced Papa Don't Peach Blush | £25 | After hearing some pretty damning reviews on the pretty-looking Sweet Peach Glow palette, I opted to just pick up the individual blusher: Papa Don't Peach, and I'm so glad I did! I've basically been using this every single day since I got it. It's a natural peach shade with a subtle sheen that goes on smoothly, never looks like too much and wears incredibly well.
Benefit They're Real Double the Lip Lipstick & Liners* | £16.50 each | Last year Benefit released a set of these lipsticks and they went down so well that there's now an entire selection of shades that you can purchase individually. The concept is slightly gimmicky but I actually really rate the formula of these! The idea is that you can line your lips and apply your lipstick all in one swipe, so each shade consists of both a lighter and a darker colour. Obviously, once applied you rub your lips together, giving a dimensional look. The formula is hard to describe as most of the shades are fairly matte in appearance and these do last well, however they also feel quite moisturising.
I was very kindly sent the entire shade selection! Criminally Coral is a tad on the light side for my skin tone but I can see it suiting a lot of people. Nude Scandal is a bit insipid on me personally, being a very light pinky-mauve colour. Lusty Rose, I like; it's a pretty everyday rosy-nude colour. Juicy Berry is my favourite of the bunch; a purple-toned berry shade that has a stain-like appearance on the lips. Pink Thrills is a class Barbie pink, whereas Fuchsia Fever is much brighter, though neither are my cup of tea. Flame Game is a vibrant orange that I just KNOW I'll wear so much when summer arrives. Revved-Up Red is your classic cherry red with pinkish undertones.
Vera Wang Princess of Hearts Fragrance* | £50 | Vera Wang Princess is one of those iconic fragrances and this new version has been released just in time for Valentine's Day! The bottle is of course stunning and has a red-pink theme. The fragrance itself isn't overpowering but lasts really well on my skin for an eau de toilette. This isn't going to be for everyone because it's incredibly sweet but I do really like the fruity scent of this. Some of the notes include watermelon, wild strawberry and vanilla.
Jimmy Choo L'Eau Fragrance* | £36 | This is a new release from Jimmy Choo and let's just take a moment for the packaging! It's so classy and chic, which pretty much embodies the fragrance. It's very feminine but not overly sweet, instead having a more floral scent. The notes include peony, nectarine and cedar wood. This is an eau de toilette and although it has decent staying-power I do notice it fading considerably over the course of the day.
Molton Brown Rosa Absolute Single Wick Scented Candle* | £36 | This is a new one for Valentine's Day from Molton Brown. This candle of course has a rose scent, however it's not your typical 'true' rose fragrance; it's a little bit darker and deeper than that. It also includes notes of blackcurrant, patchouli and vanilla, which give it that depth. Overall I really like this candle, though it's a little different from my usual, and when I burn it I do find the entire room is filled with its scent - perfect for setting a romantic mood!
Molton Brown Rosa Absolute Sumptuous Bathing Oil* | £39 | This bath oil is from the same collection as the candle so has the same fragrance. I also love that this actually creates some foam and bubbles, as so many bath oils don't. And if you want a product that leaves your skin feeling luxuriously moisturised then this is perfect! It leaves a light fragrance behind on the skin too, which I also love.
Which new beauty products are on your radar?